Five years prior to A.A.’s first International Convention a historic gathering took place in Cleveland, Ohio to commemorate A.A.’s tenth anniversary in June 1945. Over 2,500 members of Alcoholics Anonymous from 36 states, two Canadian provinces, and Mexico attended the two-day event. Celebrations kicked off on Saturday June 9th with two regular A.A. meetings and two “open house” meetings held in different parts of Cleveland. On June 10th, marking the ten year anniversary of the founding of A.A., cofounders Bill W. and Dr. Bob spoke to a crowd of 1,000 at the Music Hall in downtown Cleveland. In his talk, Bill spoke about the growth of A.A., briefly retelling his own story and about the writing of the Big Book. Bill concluded his talk by stating that “A.A. is much bigger than any of us” and joked that Dr. Bob and himself were “a couple of old, cracked antiques who have had a little more experience than others.” Following Bill, Dr. Bob spoke briefly about the development of A.A. in Akron, Ohio. He concluded by saying, “Our program must be followed by each individual. And each individual is the only one who can do it for himself.” Bill stating that June 10th was “a day for congratulations for thanksgiving and for celebration,” and that A.A. “could not have been but for others.” Dr. Bob went on to thank all that “were a source of help and inspiration in [his] trouble,” including his wife, Anne; A.A.s of Cleveland; the members of the Alcoholic Foundation, and to all in attendance at the Music Hall.
Also on the evening of June 10th, 400 A.A. members attended a Founders Day dinner in Akron, Ohio. Bill and Dr. Bob attended the dinner after they spoke in Cleveland. Speaking about Akron, Bill said “It was here that the miracle really happened. This is the hill where the A.A. beacon was lit 10 years ago.”